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Legiters trill encore bash

Music coordinator Press feted at gala

NEW YORK — Heralding the kickoff to its 2005 Encores! season in February, City Center assembled a squad of Broadway song-and-dance stalwarts Nov. 21 and 22 for a 100th anni tribute to American songwriters Harold Arlen, Marc Blitzstein, Dorothy Fields, Frederick Loewe and Jule Styne.

The Monday gala also honored Encores! music coordinator Seymour Red Press, who first served in a Broadway orchestra pit in 1957 for Ethel Merman in “Gypsy,” and is still there almost 50 years and more than 100 shows later.

“I can’t live without Red,” said musical director Rob Fisher. “I need him here to make sure the music is played live the way it should be.”

This year’s lineup included original “Hairspray” couple Harvey Fierstein and Dick Latessa, who crooned “I Remember It Well” from “Gigi.”

“The experience of doing this show is like being shot out of a cannon,” said newcomer Anne Hathaway, who sang two numbers.

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